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10. 'Since an alliance is our object, we will first address ourselves to the question of justice and1 honour. We know that no friendship between man and man, no league between city and city, can ever be permanent unless the friends or allies have a good opinion of each other's honesty, and are similar in general character. For the diversity in men's minds makes the difference in their actions.

[2] 'Now our alliance with the Athenians first began when you ceased to take part in the Persian2 War, and they remained to complete the work. But we were never the allies of the Athenians in their design of subjugating Hellas; [3] we were really the allies of the Hellenes, whom we sought to liberate from the Persians. [4] And while in the exercise of their command they claimed no supremacy, we were very ready to follow them. But our fears began to be aroused when we saw them relaxing their efforts against the Persians and imposing the yoke of their dominion upon the allies, who could not unite and defend themselves, for their interests were too various. [5] And so they were all enslaved, except ourselves and the Chians. We forsooth were independent allies, free men—that was the word— who fought at their side. [6] But, judging from previous examples, how could we any longer have confidence in our leaders? For they had subjugated others to whom, equally with ourselves, their faith was pledged; and how could we who survived expect to be spared if ever they had the power to destroy us?

1 Before asking your alliance, we must show that we deserve your respect.

2 We became allies of the Athenians because we wanted to complete the deliverance of Hellas from the Persians. But when we saw the allies, excepting the Chians and ourselves, successively enslaved by them, what wonder that we lost confidence in them!

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load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith, 1894)
load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1909)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
load focus English (1910)
load focus Greek (1942)
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